Beery Christmas Day 10: Omnipollo Smoothie IPA
Omnipollo Mexican Vanilla Piña Colada Smoothie IPA
If the name Omnipollo is familiar to you, that might just be because Omnipollo's brewer and artist-in-residence Karl Grandin provided the zodiak-inspired artwork for Beery Christmas 2017. For the uninitiated, Sweden's Omnipollo is one of the world's most famous Craft Breweries, and possibly the ultimate gypsy or itinerant brewery. Using spare capacity at bigger breweries to brew their often leftfield, but ALWAYS superb beers, they have righfully earned themselves a place in Ratebeer's list of the Top 10 breweries worldwide. Not too shabby, huh?
IPA with a twist – and a little cocktail umbrella!
Always pushing the boundaries, Omnipollo’s contribution to the Beery Christmas 2018 edition is an IPA with a twist – and a little cocktail umbrella! Taking its styling cues from the classic Piña Colada cocktail, Omnipollo have added luxuriant coconut and pineapple, and a generous dose of sweet lactose and oatmeal to give their leftfield – take a deep breath, ready? - Mexican Vanilla Piña Colada Smoothie® IPA a supremely creamy mouthfeel.
Evoking the palm-fringed beaches of Acapulco, Smoothie offers a tropical bouquet with soft creamy coconut and a bunch of juicy pineapple all offset by a well-judged hops bitterness that gives this one-of-a-kind beer a spicy bite to end on.
Fruit-shake smoothie style IPA?
While it might not be the first choice for purists, the fruit-shake smoothie style IPA is definitely a thing! The style originated from early experiments by Omnipollo's innovator-in-chief Henok Fentie, which involved adding fruit and lactose to an IPA. His aim was to combine the dry, bitter character of a true IPA with the creamy quality of milkshake. While bitter and creamy are two characteristics that you wouldn't normally expect to find together, it works, and the style has taken off in a big way, with a new arms race of breweries constantly fine-tuning their recipes.
So what about that lactose, huh?
Well, as they say in the adverts "And now for the science bit...” Lactose is a sugar extracted from milk and then freeze-dried. When you add it to beer during the brewing process, because the sugar molecules are too big for yeast to ferment, the sugar stays in the bottle after the yeast has finished doing its yeasty boogie. The result is beer with a smooth, creamy milky texture and an extra burst of sweetness without boosting the alcohol content. Compare the texture with the Camden-Wicked Weed IPA from a couple of days ago and you'll see what I mean!